Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!!

First let me give a shout out and wish my dear friend Betty a very very Happy Birthday!!!

So it was a productive weekend for me. I finished up the Twisted Rib afghan block...see..

I did start the next block as well. That would be the next to the last block. I officially am stating that this afghan will be done by the end of November. How's that for a cocky prediction?

I also have the first triangle done on the back of the Skygge Jakke. I didn't realize when I bought this kit that the color changes were actually done in intarsia (and I think the reason I didn't start the project before) but now that I'm into the project, it's pretty easy intarsia and I'm loving how it's turning out.

I also ordered this kit online and the color on the front of the kit looks absolutely nothing like the colors in the kit. This is what the colors actually look like in the kit, but the front of the kit (and the image online) showed more tans and sage of a colorway. Not that I don't love these colors (especially now that I'm working with them), but it did throw me off.

Oh, and the main reason I actually started this project? Well, when I was over at Nicole's for a very lovely evening of knitting and snacking with good company, she showed us her Stitches East purchases, including Mermaid. Well, I fell in love. However, Matt reminded me that I had the Skygge Jakke, and he's right. So the Mermaid will have to wait until this one is done.

So since today is the last day of October, let's review my Challenge progress:

  • First, I didn't work on my October Challenge project at all (maybe 2 rows?).

  • I did get the afghan blocks done, plus one, leaving me 1.75 blocks to finish.

  • I finished one sweater (the Sarah James Sampler Pullover).

Not bad, but with a little more focus, I could've had my second sweater project done.

Here's what I'm planning for the Holiday Challenge (gee, I get 2 months for this one!)

  • Finish the Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan

  • Finish the Cable O's Vest for Matt (may even give it to him as a Christmas gift)

  • Finish one other WIP project

That's actually not really that much for 2 months... unless you have short attention span like I do. Since the focus in on "Holiday Projects", I'm really going to focus on Matt's vest and get it done for him.

So if you want to join the Holiday Challenge, just pop over to the tagboard and sign up. Remember that I clear the list at the end of each Challenge now, so even if you did the October Challenge, you'll have to let me know that you'll be joining in for the Holiday Challenge!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Holiday Challenge

Well, the October "scary project" Challenge didn't quite work out, but that's not gonna stop me from doing the next challenge!

This Challenge will be for 2 months. The focus will be on Holiday Projects. Same idea as before. Pick projects (you decide how many) that need to be done by the holidays. Post the overall goals, then mini goals as you go. Keep the tagboard updated with the mini goals and progress. Let me also add that they do not have to be knitting projects. Any hand made gift or project is acceptable. Hey, they don't even have to be gifts (mine won't be, as I limit how many hand made gifts I make... and I don't have any planned for this year).

Also, like last month, I'll be clearing the list and starting fresh. That way we have a current list of who's participating. So post on the tagboard that you are going to join us, what projects you need to finish (you can be vague, just in case you're worried that a recipient will stumble across the tagboard). Simple right! Let's crank out those gifts!!!

Oh, and I was completely wrong about my comfort level for WIPs/UFO's... as I started a new project yesterday. Marriane Isagers' Skygge Jakke (Shadow Jacket). However, I still should get an other afghan block done this weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Maximum Capacity

So it finally happened. I think I've finally hit the maximum level of UFO's that I'm comfortable with. Even tho' I'm sort of bored restless with my current projects, I can't bring myself to start something new.

So what's the magic number? I have no idea. Maybe that's the problem. I have no idea how many projects I've started and have been put into the UFO closet so I can start something new. Let's say a lot. Well, some people think 5 UFO's is a lot, and there are many many more than that. Let's guess somewhere between 50 and 100 projects sitting in the closet waiting for me to either finish them or decide to use the yarn for something else. I don't even need that many sweaters.

I would say that there are at least 20 projects that I really really want to finish so I "have" them. There are lot of projects that I just wanted to try the yarn and pattern, but I'm not sure I love the project enough to ever finish it. Yet, I can't bring myself to frog the project.

So I'm trying to stay focused. I do think the monthly challenge has helped quite a bit. I do stay a little more focused, even if I haven't been able to actually accomplish any of my original goals. October was supposed to be a "scary" project, and I'm beginning to think all those UFO's are getting pretty scary. Finishing any project at this point would be to get rid of a scary project.

So the October Challenge has been a bust for me. I haven't worked more than maybe one or two rows on the project I selected. However, I'm still on goal to finish my September Goals. It's just a month late. (I'll blame the 4 baby sweaters for my vet that I did in September... oh and speaking of the sweaters, I received a lovely note from our vet and the sweaters will be worn for their christening. I'm hoping I get a picture).

So let's do an update for the Challenge (I'll completely ignore the October Challenge goals and concentrate on the September Challenge).

  • Finish 2 WIP's off side bar list one finished

  • 2 afghan blocks 3 finished

Hey, that's not bad. I'm still going to try to finish one more block for the afghan this month, and that will keep me on schedule for 2 blocks a month. I'm not sure I have time to finish a second project off the WIP list, but I'll keep plugging away on them and eventually something will get done. (yes, Matt, I'll concentrate on the Cable O's Vest for ya!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I added one repeat to the Semi-Woven block yesterday and it came out to the right size. I'll have to get a new picture taken for the Afghan page.

I went ahead and cast on the next block, as I can see the end is in sight for this afghan and I would love to get it done (so I can start the next one, of course). With only 3 more blocks and the finishing I think I can have this done by the end of November. Who's gonna lay the odds?

So of course as with any "almost finished" project, I've hit the what Sampler will I do next?

Okay, that's a lot to choose from, but then I sort of collect Sampler Afghan patterns. I'm leaning towards redoing the Taste of Aran, I must admit. I loved doing that pattern. The garter borders around each block made the sewing up sooo much easier (no forcing 84 stitches down to 48 using a crochet border). My first version came out too small (my blocks ended up being 10" X 10") so it's more of a "lap afghan" than a true afghan. However, I'm thinking I would like something a little more colorful this time. I have to say the first Great American Afghan is appealing, too. Too many "cream colored" aran afghans lately. I even think that if I re do the Taste of Aran I'll do it in a denim heathery yarn rather than the cream that I did the first one.

Well, something to ponder while I finish up the Leisure Arts one!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

You mean they're all supposed to be 12 X 12?

I thought I had finished an other afghan block for the Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan last night. Well, when I went to take pictures of the two finished blocks, I noticed the latest block is too small. This is one of the few blocks that has an actual row count, and I just followed the pattern.

Silly me, it's not big enough. I need an other 2" to get a 12 x 12" block, that's one more repeat compared to the pattern.

No biggie, but I'm disappointed that I don't have the block done.

Here's a picture of the block I finished over the weekend (not great pictures today... we're having a wee bit o' rain). Now I'm not sure what I did on this one. I swore I followed the pattern, but I ended up with a different look than the chevron I was supposed to get. Again, no biggie, as I quite like the look of this one, but I think I missed a pattern repeat.

So a little frogging today and a fix on the afghan block, but then I'm going to work on something else today. I really should do a few rows on the Cable O's Vest. I'm not sure I can get that done by the end of the month... I'm starting to run out of time! Just too many projects!!!

Monday, October 24, 2005

No Pictures... yet

I know, I know, no pictures makes for a boring blog. I even have a finished afghan block for the Leisure Arts Sampler to show. However, the sad news is that my camera needs batteries, so I'll have to wait to get a picture of the new block (my scanner is too small to do 12" X 12" blocks).

So that gives me 16 blocks (out of 20) done. I've cast on the 17th block and actually got quite a bit done. I'm still thinking that I can get this afghan done by the end of the year.

I didn't get much other knitting done over the weekend. I did work a bit on a crochet afghan block and I started a quick crochet shawl to wrap up in for these chilly mornings.

Well, since I don't have any new knitting pictures, how about if I distract you with a cute pup pic? Will that tie you over until I get new batteries??

I've got a little house keeping to do today (see that picture isn't of a dog, it's actually a dog hair manufacturer) but I hope to maybe finish up the latest afghan block. Or maybe a row or two on the Cable O's Vest?

Oh krap, I just realized that Matt left for work with out the Basics stuff to mail off. Oh well, it'll go out tomorrow. It's all ready to go.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2005

What? Now I Need To Do Titles???

Okay, so I'm adjusting to a new blogging system. Not much new to report, as I spent most of yesterday either playing video games or working on setting up my new blog stuff.

I believe I knit one row on the Cable O's Vest.

I think the weekend will be concentrated towards an afghan block for the Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan. When I made the Taste of Aran Afghan, I only worked on it during the weekends with the goal of one block a week. It worked very well and I got the afghan done in a very reasonable amount of time. I'm still in that mind set. I still work on afghan blocks mostly on weekends. With the goal of getting two more blocks done this month, I need to get moving!

Looks like we're heading into a dreary, rainy weekend. Perfect for knitting and football and the World Series. Might even be time to crack out the cold weather recipes... like Pennsylvania Dutch Ham Pot Pie.

Update: I just uploaded 4 new squares to the Leisure Arts Crochet Sampler Afghan page.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The New Blog...

Well, in case you are wondering, I've moved my blog over to Blogger. I had a few issues with some people not being able to get my pages to load. I have no idea why or how to fix it. So I wasted today setting up Blogger with a look similar to what I had before.

This does mean that my old blog is more or less gone. If you want to scroll back thru the archives, you can do it here.

For those that left me comments earlier today, I don't know how to transfer them to Blogger, so just click on the link above.

It might take me a while to get used to doing a blog this way, but I'm sure it's more user friendly!

Oh, and this should allow RSS feeds too (something my old blog wouldn't do).

Ah, proof that I am doing some knitting! Still plugging away on the Cable O's Vest. I'm so happy with how it looks, but the cotton is a bit of a challenge*. My hands start to bother me after about 2 or 3 rows and I have to put it down. I still think I can get to the armhole decreases by the weekend. I just might get this done by the end of the month! Matt will be thrilled!

I did look at some projects yesterday, but I didn't cast on anything new. I think I've finally hit UFO saturation. Everything I considered reminded me of an other project that I have already started.

I did work on an older UFO project from the closet. I worked a few rows on Matt's Sampler Cardigan. Having just finished my pullover, I was reminded how fun this pattern is to knit. I have one of fronts done and half of the other. It's a nice break from the Cable O's Vest. A good balance actually.

*Let me say that the original pattern uses Cascade 220, a favorite yarn. The pattern would've been a breeze to knit in the wool... sadly I have an odd compulsion to change yarns in a pattern, even if the yarn is a favorite. While I love the look of the cotton, in retrospect, the Cascade would've been an easier to knit choice.